The Vietsch Foundation Medal of Honour is awarded annually to individuals or teams that have developed new ideas or demonstrated sustained organisational skills and whose efforts have led to the creation of institutions or services of enduring value.
This year, the Trustees of the Vietsch Foundation are thrilled to announce that they have unanimously selected two outstanding individuals whose dedication and commitment have contributed enormously to the community.
The 2020 Vietsch Foundation Medal of Honour recipients are Erik Kikkenborg and Bartłomiej Idzikowski.
Andrew Cormack, member of the Board of Trustees explains the rationale behind this year’s award. “For many years, Erik and Bartek have led the team that broadcasts and records talks from the TNC conferences. Thanks to their work many thousands of people from around the world have been able to hear about advances in European research networking and join that community, even when geographical constraints meant they could not attend the conferences in person.
Providing high-quality video streams from a wide variety of locations, often over temporary networks that are installed only for the duration of the conference, requires a particular mix of human and technical skills. Everyone who has presented at TNC, attended the conference remotely, or watched the recordings afterwards, has reason to be grateful to them.”
In the past few years, they have introduced innovative solutions at TNC combining artistic graphics, audio and video design with cutting edge technologies: high resolution, advanced audio, big range of cameras (including on a crane), higher number of screens, dynamic content (including bio info, sponsors details, social media feedback or clock).
Erik Kikkenborg is the NORDUnet Media Services Manager, working on the organisation and distribution of cloud-based hosted video services. He is also the technical project coordinator of a vast number of NORDUnet, DeIC, SUNET, NeIC, GÉANT activities and TNC. For more than 20 years Erik has been active in audio visual and communications technology, from technician and project coordinator to manager and consultant on video communications, learning platforms and technology, online video and live streaming. For the past 10 years Erik’s primary focus has been collaboration with Nordic and International Research and Education institutions in the area of online platforms for learning and collaboration, in the context of European and global projects under the GÉANT Event Team, GÉANT (eduCONF), TERENA (NRENum), Global CEO Forum (GVA), (GRTC), asi@connect and Up2University (Up2U).
Erik’s professional interests comprise the exploration of the potential of video as a way of communication in education with a focus on new tools and technologies. Currently he is working on how to change the educational landscape in developing countries applying online education platforms.
Bartlomiej Idzikowski graduated from Poznan University of Technology in 2003 (Computing Science – Computer Networks and Distributed Systems). He became PSNC employee in the organisation’s Network Department. His research interests focus on video- and web-conferencing, high resolution video systems (4K, 8K), web-based applications, streaming technologies, network management and traffic monitoring. Bartłomiej’s professional background includes long-term cooperation within different European and national projects, such as GN2, GN3, GN3plus, GN4-1, GN4-2, GN4-3, 6NET, Phosphorus, Porta Optica Study, VISIONAIR, ImmersiaTV and Immersify. He was a member of the TNC programme committee in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and member of the TERENA NRENum.net task force. Currently, he is the Task Leader of the eduMEET / eduTURN task in GÉANT, technical coordinator of TNC, coordinator of the scientific TV team (Pionier TV) and steering committee member of the Special Interest Group Multi Media.
The mission of the Vietsch Foundation is to promote research and development of advanced Internet technology for scientific research and higher education. The Vietsch Foundation fulfils its goals in two ways: First, it contributes funding to specific research and development projects that demonstrate potential value to progress European and global research and education networking. And second, each year it awards a medal of honour to people who have contributed to the development of services or technologies of lasting value that are used by the networking community and its users in research, development and education. The Foundation was created through the last will and testament of Willem Karel Vietsch (1952–2014), a Dutch expert, a leader of the international Internet community, and also the Secretary-General of TERENA, a former association of European national research and education networks. For details visit: https://www.vietsch-foundation.org